Way Back Wednesdays

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Today’s Way Back photos take us to the early days of this park.  This image (from June 19, 1934) shows the house where our fantastic librarian, Cerinda Evans, lived.  The house was owned by the museum.  Cerinda was our first librarian and, by all accounts, an incredibly smart woman.  She wrote a number of books, including a biography of Shipyard founder, Collis Potter Huntington.

Going back to June 20, 1930, this shows the museum farm, on the property that is now Riverside Hospital.  The idea of maintaining a working farm was abandoned by 1935.   Read more

Way Back Wednesdays

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I’ve posted a number of model shop images through the years, but these two recently came to my attention as I was doing some research for a descendant of the man pictured, John Bader.  The first image is Bader’s personnel photo taken in October 1935.  The second is Bader working on the model of El Sud in early 1934.  The model is now on display in our Ship Model Gallery.  Bader worked in the model shop at least until 1939 as we have images of him up to that point.

This image from July of 1933 shows children looking at the lake through the trees.  It seems very peaceful.   Read more

Commonwealth Model Sings Again! (sort of)

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Steamboat Commonwealth, ca 1864

A couple years back I wrote a blog about our wonderful music box model of the steamboat Commonwealth; read that HERE.   Just a quick background on it, the model was made ca 1864 by John Dean Benton, who worked for Tiffany & Co.  The model was presented as a retirement gift from the Norwich and New London Steamboat Company to the Captain, Jerome Wheeler Williams, who had never had any major mishaps in his career.  Ironically, Commonwealth caught fire and sank the year after Captain Williams retired.

One thing I had mentioned is that we had a recording of the music on an old Echo-Matic tape that we hoped to have digitized sometime in the future as we can no longer play the music box itself.  Earlier this year Cindi looked into companies that could do this for us and she found George Blood Audio.  This morning they sent us the digital file and it is awesome!  We know that two of the songs are “Nellie Bly” and “By Banks and Braes of Bonnie Doon”.  We are currently unsure what the other songs are, so if anyone has an idea, please let us know.  Enjoy!   Read more

Way Back Wednesdays

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It’s been awhile since I’ve posted any old photos, but I would like to get back into as the history of the museum is fascinating!  This first photo shows the Virginia Travel Council visiting us on October 16, 1953.  This is especially relevant as Virginia Tourism paid us a visit just a couple of weeks ago.

On September 3, 1947, a group of children were rewarded for participating in the Library Vacation Reading Plan with a visit to the museum.  Clearly the little boy in the front wasn’t too thrilled about the visit, he looks so bored.  Haha!  The other boy on the left is intensely studying our Robert Hood watercolor, which is a very interesting piece.  The letters are created by using people or other aspects of the image.   Read more